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Ukraine War discussion - Threat to Public Health

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  • Pathfinder
    WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing – 10 July 2024

    11 July 2024

    Now to Ukraine, where the Ohmatdyt National Children’s Hospital in Kyiv was severely damaged on Monday following a series of aerial strikes.

    More than 600 children were in the hospital when it was struck.

    Two people were killed and 50 injured, including 8 children.

    Sixty-eight children remain under treatment in the surviving buildings, and 94 children were transported to other medical facilities in Kyiv.

    The remaining children, who were in the hospital for scheduled treatment, have been examined and temporarily discharged.

    Our WHO team arrived at the hospital immediately after the attack and saw the desperation of parents, medical staff, and volunteers evacuating the children.

    WHO’s biomedical engineers are assessing the damage to medical equipment to determine what we can provide to ensure continuity of care.

    We will also provide medical supplies to hospitals that have received patients from Ohmatdyt.

    Including the attack on the children’s hospital, WHO verified four attacks on health care in Ukraine on Monday, killing 9 health workers and patients and leaving another 71 injured.

    Since the beginning of the war, WHO has verified 1885 attacks on health care, which have been linked to 157 deaths and 435 injuries among health workers and patients.

    Attacks on health care are a violation of international humanitarian law.

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  • Mary Wilson
    Two beluga whales evacuated to Spain from war-torn Ukraine

    ​Issued on: 20/06/2024 - 11:32Modified: 20/06/2024 - 12:01​

    Video by:Yinka OYETADE

    Two beluga whales have been evacuated from an aquarium in war-torn Ukraine to Spain by road and plane in a "high-risk" operation, officials at their new home said Wednesday.

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  • Pathfinder
    States at Summit on Peace in Ukraine agree on common positions and next steps

    Press releases, 16.06.2024

    At the close of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine on Sunday, 16 June, the vast majority of participating states agreed on jointly formulated positions and next steps with a view to a future peace process. President Viola Amherd commended the joint communiqué that emerged from the Bürgenstock summit as a strong signal from the international community for peace based on international law and the UN Charter. 92 states from all regions of the world took part in the summit, 57 of which were represented by heads of state and government.

    The outcome of the Bürgenstock summit marked a first important step on the challenging path towards a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, President Amherd explained. The discussions focused on three topics: nuclear safety, food security and the humanitarian dimension of the conflict (covering prisoners of war, arbitrarily detained civilians and abducted children). These topics lend themselves to building trust between the parties to the conflict, as an agreement in these areas would be beneficial for both sides. Furthermore, these are issues that are of great importance to many countries, partly due to their geographical proximity, partly because they themselves are or have been affected by these issues and can share their experiences.

    Countries from different regions of the world took part in the discussions and were able to contribute their own experiences and put forward possible solutions. The joint communiqué that emerged from the Bürgenstock summit was supported by the vast majority of participating states. It reflects the desire of the states to contribute to the peace process. The positions taken in the three areas of discussion create a basis of trust. The need to involve all parties to the conflict was also emphasised.

    It is the first time that Switzerland has hosted a summit of this magnitude. The broad participation from all regions of the world is an expression of trust in Switzerland and was made possible thanks to Switzerland's global diplomatic network. President Amherd emphasised that Switzerland would continue to play an active role in the next steps. President Amherd and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), praised the cooperation with the participating states and expressed their thanks to the international partners and all those who contributed to the smooth running of the event. In addition to the federal government, the authorities of the Canton of Nidwalden have also been heavily involved. Security at the summit was ensured by the police and the armed forces.
    Further information:

    Joint Communiqué on a Peace Framework
    Summit on Peace in Ukraine


    From the link above:

    Summit on Peace in Ukraine: Joint Communiqué on a Peace Framework

    Bürgenstock, Switzerland 16 June 2024

    The ongoing war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine continues to cause large-scale human suffering and destruction, and to create risks and crises with global repercussions. We gathered in Switzerland on 15-16 June 2024 to enhance a high-level dialogue on pathways towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine. We reiterated resolutions A/RES/ES-11/1 and A/RES/ES-11/6 adopted at the UN General Assembly and underscored our commitment to upholding international law including the United Nations Charter. This Summit was built on the previous discussions that have taken place based on Ukraine’s Peace Formula and other peace proposals which are in line with international law, including the United Nations Charter.

    We deeply appreciate Switzerland’s hospitality and its initiative to host the High-Level Summit as expression of its firm commitment to promoting international peace and security.

    We had a fruitful, comprehensive and constructive exchange of various views on pathways towards a framework for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, based on international law, including the United Nations Charter. In particular, we reaffirm our commitment to refraining from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, the principles of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all states, including Ukraine, within their internationally recognized borders, including territorial waters, and the resolution of disputes through peaceful means as principles of international law.

    We, furthermore, have a common vision on the following crucial aspects:
    1. Firstly, any use of nuclear energy and nuclear installations must be safe, secured, safe-guarded and environmentally sound. Ukrainian nuclear power plants and installations, including Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, must operate safely and securely under full sovereign control of Ukraine and in line with IAEA principles and under its supervision.

      Any threat or use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing war against Ukraine is inadmissible.
    2. Secondly, global food security depends on uninterrupted manufacturing and supply of food products. In this regard, free, full and safe commercial navigation, as well as access to sea ports in the Black and Azov Seas, are critical. Attacks on merchant ships in ports and along the entire route, as well as against civilian ports and civilian port infrastructure, are unacceptable.

      Food security must not be weaponized in any way. Ukrainian agricultural products should be securely and freely provided to interested third countries.
    3. Thirdly, all prisoners of war must be released by complete exchange. All deported and unlawfully displaced Ukrainian children, and all other Ukrainian civilians who were unlawfully detained, must be returned to Ukraine.

    We believe that reaching peace requires the involvement of and dialogue between all parties. We, therefore, decided to undertake concrete steps in the future in the above-mentioned areas with further engagement of the representatives of all parties.

    The United Nations Charter, including the principles of respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, can and will serve as a basis in achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.

    List of countries who support the joint communiqué

    Status 16 June 2024

    Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Council of Europe, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, European Commission, European Council, European Parliament, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tomé and Principe, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor Leste, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay

    Last update 17.06.2024

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  • Pathfinder
    Summit on Peace in Ukraine

    On 15 and 16 June 2024, Switzerland is organising a Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the Bürgenstock (Canton of Nidwalden). The aim of that heads of state and government meeting, is to develop a common understanding of a path towards a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. This should be the basis for a peace process.
    The logo of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine. © FDFA

    News on the Summit on Peace in Ukraine

    News ticker

    Following up on Ukraine’s request Switzerland has invited over 160 delegations from around the world to join for the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine on 15-16 June 2024 at the Bürgenstock resort.

    The summit will build on the discussions that have taken place in recent months, notably the Ukrainian peace formula and other peace proposals based on the UN Charter and key principles of international law. The overarching objective of the summit is to inspire a future peace process. To achieve this, the summit intends to:
    • Provide a platform for dialogue on ways towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine based on international law and the UN Charter;
    • Promote a common understanding of a possible framework to reach this goal;
    • Jointly define a roadmap on how to involve both parties in a future peace process.

    The participation of a wide range of states and their contributions to the discussion will be crucial to reach these goals. Switzerland has a long tradition of promoting dialogue. Thus, it considers the exchange of different views on the way to peace in Ukraine of vital importance.

    Media Corner

    Check the Media Corner to follow parts of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine programme via livestream or find information on how to retrieve video footage and photos.


    Why is the summit being held in Switzerland?

    During President Zelenskyy's visit to Bern on 15 January 2024, Switzerland and Ukraine discussed the next steps towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine. At Ukraine's request, Switzerland agreed to host a summit. Switzerland regularly hosts negotiations or acts as a mediator for talks and meetings.

    What are the aims of this summit?

    The aim of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine is to inspire a future peace process and to develop practical elements as well as steps towards such a process. All states present at the summit should contribute their ideas and visions for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine.

    By organising this summit, Switzerland is helping to support discussions aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. Following the URC 2022 in Lugano and the National Security Advisors Meeting in Davos at the beginning of the year, Switzerland is now organising another important conference.

    How many delegations have been invited to the summit?

    Switzerland has invited over 160 delegations at head of state and government level to take part in the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine on June 15 and 16, 2024 on the Bürgenstock. These include members of the G7, the G20, the BRICS, numerous other countries from all continents as well as the EU, three international organizations (UN, OSCE and Council of Europe) and two religious representatives (Vatican and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople).

    So far, over 80 confirmations have been received for participation at the level of heads of state and government. Around half of these are currently from Europe and the other half from the rest of the world. The final of participating states will be published shortly before the start of the summit.

    Has Russia also received an invitation?

    Russia has not been invited at this stage. Switzerland has always shown openness to extending an invitation to Russia for this Summit. However, Russia has said repeatedly and also publicly that it has no interest in participating in this first Summit. The Summit in Switzerland is intended to initiate a peace process. Switzerland is convinced that Russia must be involved in this process. A peace process without Russia is unthinkable.

    What does it cost to organise this summit?

    The costs of organising the summit depend on the number of delegations taking part and their level. These parameters are currently not finalised, so the exact costs cannot yet be specified.A cost ceiling of CHF 10 to 15 million is currently expected, including CHF 10 million for internal security.

    What does the programme for the summit look like? What will the heads of state and government discuss in concrete terms?

    The summit programme is currently being drawn up. The focus will lie on topics of global interest and which affect a large number of states, such as (1) nuclear safety, (2) freedom of navigation and food safety and (3) humanitarian aspects. Switzerland has met with numerous representatives from various states, informed them about the summit and gathered their expectations.

    All states present at the summit should be able to contribute their ideas and visions for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine.

    What does it mean for Swiss neutrality if Switzerland organises a summit on peace without Russia? Is it not taking sides?

    Switzerland is permanently neutral. The basis of Swiss neutrality is the law of neutrality, which is based on The Hague Conventions of 1907. The law of neutrality applies to the military sphere. However, being neutral does not mean being indifferent. Switzerland strongly condemns Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Outside the military sphere, the law of neutrality is not an obstacle to solidarity and support for Ukraine and its people. After more than two years of war, at least an attempt must now be made to start a process for peace in Ukraine. Switzerland is convinced that Russia must be involved in this process. A peace process without Russia is unthinkable. By organising this first summit, Switzerland is making a contribution to supporting discussions for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. The alternative would be to do nothing which is not an option for Switzerland.

    The war is far from being over. What else is Switzerland doing for Ukraine?

    Switzerland's involvement in the search for a peaceful solution for Ukraine complements the measures that the Confederation has implemented to date to support the people affected by the war in Ukraine and to shape Ukraine's future. For example, the political reconstruction process was launched on a broad basis with Ukraine in Lugano in July 2022. The Confederation is also committed to the prosecution of crimes under international law, such as war crimes or the crime of aggression, as well as the search for and identification of missing persons.

    Since the beginning of the conflict, the Confederation has provided a total of around CHF 3 billion in support to the population in Switzerland or abroad affected by the war in Ukraine. As part of its international cooperation, the Swiss Confederation provides humanitarian aid and has adjusted existing projects in development cooperation to the new context. Since the outbreak of the war, it has provided around CHF 425 million to support the population affected by the war in Ukraine abroad.

    In 2024, the budget for humanitarian aid and development cooperation in Ukraine and the region totals CHF 150 million. The Federal Council has also reserved funds totalling around CHF 1.5 billion for Ukraine and the region as part of the International Cooperation Strategy (IC) 2025-2028. Switzerland is thus making a substantial contribution to the support and to the reconstruction of Ukraine.

    On 29 September 2023, the Federal Council approved CHF 100 million for humanitarian demining for the years 2024-2027. The funding is split equally between the FDFA and the DDPS. Humanitarian demining is a key precondition for the country's recovery.

    Switzerland will co-organise a series of humanitarian demining events this year (Road to Lausanne) culminating in the Ukraine Mine Action Conference UMAC2024 on 17-18 October in Lausanne.



    China -

    Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on May 31, 2024

    2024-05-31 18:37
    Reuters: According to sources, China has confirmed that it will not attend the Ukraine peace conference to be hosted by Switzerland next month. China has declined the invitation, because the conditions for China’s participation are not met, including the participation of both Russia and Ukraine, the sources said. Would the Foreign Ministry like to comment on this matter?

    Mao Ning: China attaches great importance to Switzerland organizing the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine and has been in close communication with Switzerland and relevant parties on this since early this year. China always maintains that the international peace conference needs to meet the three important elements of recognition from both Russia and Ukraine, equal participation of all parties, and fair discussion of all peace plans. Otherwise, the peace conference can hardly play a substantive role for restoring peace. These elements proposed by China are fair, legitimate and do not target any party. They are written into the Common Understandings on Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis jointly issued by China and Brazil recently and reflect the universal concern of the international community, especially the vast developing countries.

    Based on what we have heard from various parties and the released arrangement for the meeting, it doesn’t seem that the three elements proposed by China will be met. There is an apparent gap between the meeting’s arrangement and what China stands for as well as the universal expectation in the international community. In this case, China is hardly able to take part in the meeting and has informed relevant parties of our consideration and concerns. We will continue to promote talks for peace in our own way, maintain communication with all parties and jointly accumulate conditions for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

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  • sharon sanders
    commented on 's reply
    I am guessing this is HFRS:

    "..Where is HFRS found?

    HFRS is found throughout the world. Haantan virus is widely distributed in eastern Asia, particularly in China, Russia, and Korea. Puumala virus is found in Scandinavia, western Europe, and western Russia. Dobrava virus is found primarily in the Balkans, and Seoul virus is found worldwide. Saaremaa is found in central Europe and Scandinavia. In the Americas, hantaviruses cause a different disease known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome..."

  • Pathfinder
    Occupants Are Massively Affected by “Mouse Fever” in Kupiansk Direction

    December 19, 2023

    Occupants Are Massively Affected by “Mouse Fever” in Kupiansk DirectionDefence Intelligence of Ukraine informs that dissatisfaction is growing in the units of the russian occupying army due to inadequate provision of winter uniforms, as well as complete lack of medical care.

    Thus, in the Kupiansk direction, an outbreak of the so-called “mouse fever” has been recorded in many units of the russian invaders.

    The disease is viral in nature and is transmitted to humans from rodents: through direct contact with the pathogen, by inhaling mouse feces dust or by ingestion of mouse feces in food.

    Symptoms of “mouse fever” include severe headache, fever of up to 40 degrees, rashes and redness, low blood pressure, haemorrhages in the eyes, nausea, and vomiting several times a day.

    In addition, the disease affects the kidneys. Therefore, a person infected with “mouse fever” suffers from severe lower back pain. He also faces serious problems with urination.

    Complaints about fever from the russian army personnel involved in the war against Ukraine were ignored by the command, considering them as another manifestation of evasion from participation in hostilities. In addition, at the first stage of its course, “mouse fewer” resembles a common flu.

    As a result, the “mouse fever” has significantly reduced the combat capability of the russian soldiers.

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  • Emily

    ‘Give me my bones’: Ukrainian families fight for truth about missing soldiers

    Kateryna Dembovska was told her husband had died. But there are reasons to doubt the Ukrainian army’s official account

    Kateryna Farbar

    27 November 2023, 12.54pm
    When Kateryna Dembovska’s husband went missing in action in May last year, she was told all that was left of him and his unit was one body and two black bags in a Mykolaiv morgue.

    According to his brigade, Volodymyr Dembovskyi, a gunner in a motorised infantry company, was burned alive in a Russian artillery strike on a village in southern Ukraine.

    Fellow soldiers, including their commander, were unable to save him and six other soldiers as their building was engulfed in flames, relatives were told.

    But Dembovska doesn’t believe the 59th Brigade’s leadership or its investigation – and has tried on her own to find out exactly what happened to her husband on 8 May 2022...
    Some videos of what Ukrainian troops are enduring here:

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  • Emily

    Arestovich, close to Zelensky, says it is Ukraine who has lost about 300,000. (I've heard estimates of Russia losing 10's of thousands.) He also blames the UK's Boris Johnson for obstructing an early peace negotiation.

    That is corroborated in an interview with another Ukrainian involved:

    More corroboration:
    The disastrous derailment of early peace efforts to end the war in Ukraine Michael von der Schulenburg is a former UN Assistant Secretary-General, who worked for over 34 years for the United Nations, and shortly [...]

    Michael von der Schulenburg, Hajo Funke, Harald Kujat – Peace For Ukraine

    November 10, 2023
    ​The disastrous derailment of early peace efforts to end the war in Ukraine Michael von der Schulenburg is a former UN Assistant Secretary-General, who worked for over 34 years for the United Nations, and shortly for the OSCE, in many countries in war or internal armed conflicts often involving fragile governments and armed non-state actors

    Hajo Funke is Professor Emeritus for political sciences of the Otto-Suhr-Institute/ Freie University Berlin

    General (ret.) Harald Kujat was the highest ranging German officer of the Bundeswehr and at NATO
    The British Prime Minister’s fateful visit to Kiev on 9 April 2022

    This is a detailed reconstruction of the Ukrainian-Russian peace negotiations in March 2022 and the associated mediation attempts by the then Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, supported by President Erdogan and former German Chancellor Schröder. It was drawn up by retired General H. Kujat and Professor Emeritus H. Funke, two of the initiators of the recently presented peace plan for Ukraine. And it is also in connection with their peace plan that this reconstruction is so extremely important. It reminds us that we cannot afford to delay ceasefire and peace negotiations again. The human and military situation in Ukraine deteriorates dramatically, with the added danger that it could lead to a further escalation of the war. We need a diplomatic solution to this cruel war for Europe and the Ukraine – and we need it now!

    From the detailed reconstruction of the March peace efforts 6 conclusions emerge:

    1. Just one month after the start of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Ukrainian and Russian negotiators had come very close to an agreement for a ceasefire and to an outline for a comprehensive peace solution to the conflict.

    2) In contrast to today, President Zelensky and his government had made great efforts to negotiate peace with Russia and bring the war to a quick end.

    3) Contrary to Western interpretations, Ukraine and Russia agreed at the time that the planned NATO expansion was the reason for the war. They therefore focused their peace negotiations on Ukraine’s neutrality and its renunciation of NATO membership. In return, Ukraine would have retained its territorial integrity except for Crimea.

    4) There is little doubt that these peace negotiations failed due to resistance from NATO and in particular from the USA and the UK. The reasons is that such a peace agreement would have been tantamount to a defeat for NATO, an end to NATO’s eastward expansion and thus an end to the dream of a unipolar world dominated by the USA.

    5. The failure of the peace negotiations in March 2022 led to dangerous intensification of the war that has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, especially young people, deeply traumatized a young generation and inflicted the most severe mental and physical wounds on them. Ukraine has been exposed to enormous destruction, internal displacements, and mass impoverishment. This si accompanied by a large-scale depopulation of the country. Not only Russia, but also NATO and the West bear a heavy share of the blame for this disaster.

    6) Ukraine’s negotiating position today is far worse than it was in March 2022. Ukraine will now lose large parts of its territory.

    7. The blocking of the peace negotiations at that time has harmed everyone: Russia and Europe – but above all the people of Ukraine, who are paying with their blood the price for the ambitions of the major powers and will probably get nothing in return...

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  • Pathfinder

    UK estimates over 300,000 Russian military casualties

    By George Allison - November 14, 2023129

    New estimates provided by the UK government have shed light on the extensive losses suffered by Russian military forces in Ukraine since February 2022.
    The figures, disclosed in response to queries from John Healey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, outline a significant toll on Russian military capabilities.
    In response to Healey’s enquiry about the Russian military personnel losses, James Heappey, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, provided a stark assessment, stating, “We estimate that approximately 302,000 Russian military personnel have been killed or wounded, and tens of thousands more have already deserted since the start of the conflict.”
    UK estimates show about 302,000 Russian casualties, mass desertions, and significant losses including over 7,117 armoured vehicles in Ukraine,

    Leave a comment:

  • Emily
    commented on 's reply
    Kiwi, I did NOT state the eye injuries in the medical report were caused by a weapon from either side. You don't know the source, either. Both sides are using these weapons and they persist and kill and injure civilians. The only way to end this is to end the war.

  • kiwibird
    commented on 's reply
    Speculation and guesses are not evidence or even indication of use. We should try and look at the facts before we come to conclusions.

  • kiwibird
    commented on 's reply
    The date of the article you have quoted stating Ukraine is using cluster munitions effectively is the 20th of July this year, a year after the eye damage article previously quoted. Crimea was invaded without a shot being fired. You have not provided any evidence otherwise - let alone of cluster munitions being used by either side at that time.

  • Emily
    commented on 's reply

    2014-15, Crimea:

    Russia and Ukraine used cluster munitions during Moscow’s invasion to annex Crimea, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
    2022, Ukraine War:

    According to HRW, Russia and Ukraine have extensively used cluster bombs during the conflict.

  • Emily
    commented on 's reply
    Whatever your own opinion right now, this is not Russian propaganda.

    "What We Do

    EMN hones and focuses the existing energy and talent of experts who have been there, done that, and taken the time learn and apply lessons “from the inside” of generational war and the military-industrial complex that feeds it.

    Our experts offer alternative analyses untainted by Pentagon or defense industry ties. They counter Washington’s establishment narrative on most national security issues of the day.

    They oppose systemic corruption, nepotism, and the undue influence that the military-industrial-congressional complex — through its money and army of “revolving door” lobbyists — has on the policymaking process."

  • Emily
    commented on 's reply
    I'm glad the girl's mother stepped up. I hope it goes well. The father DID run according to your article. He got caught in Minsk.

    "Moskalyov went on the run and was arrested in Minsk. While on the run, he was sentenced in absentia to two years in a penal colony for discrediting the armed forces."